As of June 7, 2017 we are not sending out any new kits.
However, you can still follow the instructions provided online to assemble your own kit and send samples to A&M for inclusion in the study.
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT YET SENT IN THEIR RESULTS: We will keep the postage account open until June 30, 2017. After that date you must pay your own postage. Please, use your kits, send in your results! Thank you!
Michael declares May:
“Send a Tick to College (Station) Month!!!” – project extended through May!
May is also “National Lyme Disease Awareness Month”
Meet Michael and hear about the project: DFW Channel 4 Hometown Heroes
What’s a Tick Drag? Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLydaSQD97U
Here is an instructional video from the U.S. Army: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJAbkSQrK84
If the videos above do not load, copy and paste the URL into your browser.
Definitely do not consider playgrounds, your back yard, the maintained areas of city parks, or other such landscaped areas for a tick drag. While you might find a tick or two in such areas the goal of this study is to find lots of ticks so go where the ticks are likely to be. Grassy, wooded, underbrush areas especially at the edge of densely overgrown areas are good candidates. Nature preserves, deer leases (obviously!), and other areas more frequented by animals than humans are good. For scouts, all the areas that adults routinely tell boys to stay out of are probably good candidates (DON’T stay on the trail, DON’T stay out of the woods, DO go walking through the tall grass, and so on!).
If you would like to participate please follow the instructions provided elsewhere on this site to assemble your own kit and mail the results to A&M. As of June 7, 2017 we stopped providing pre-assembled kits, however the study continues at A&M.
The Great 2017 Texas Tick Drag supports the research of the Texas A&M Lyme Lab directed by Dr. Maria D. Esteve-Gassent, Ph.D. This lab is conducting research to map the presence of ticks throughout Texas and to test for pathogens they may be carrying, such as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, among others.
The state-wide tick drag was conceived by Michael Kinsey as his Eagle Scout Project after hearing about this important research. Graduate students and other volunteers have been performing tick drags in various areas of the state. Michael reasoned that if Boy Scouts across the state would incorporate a tick drag during their campouts, thousands of samples could be generated to accelerate the research. In the process, they would learn important information about protecting themselves from tick bites, and gain greater understanding of the outdoors.
Michael has suffered from Lyme Disease for six years. His battle has been due in part to the misunderstanding of tick presence in Texas which led to a tragic misdiagnosis of his condition. The results of the A&M research will make an important contribution to human and veterinary health in Texas and beyond. You may read more about Michael on the “About” page. Please visit the other pages on this site to learn more about Lyme, ticks, preventing tick bites, removing ticks, and what to do if you have symptoms after a bite. You can also visit the Texas A&M Lyme Lab site here.
Volunteers have prepared kits which will be shipped out free of charge to Scout Troops or other interested groups and individuals wishing to participate. The goal is to obtain samples from every county in Texas during Spring 2017. We have extended the project through May to encompass prime tick season this year. Groups may participate more than once in different locations. Private land (with permission, of course), public camping areas, wilderness areas, Scout camps, nature centers, or any other likely tick habitat are good places to conduct a drag. The only cost for participation is a bottle of isopropyl alcohol. This will be placed in the provided vials to preserve the ticks during shipping back to A&M. Prepaid and pre-addressed shipping labels to A&M will be provided.
Donations are appreciated and may be made directly to Texas A&M Foundation to support the cost of DNA sequencing for pathogens. The DNA sequencing runs about $15 per sample. Michael has obtained matching private donation commitments up to $10,000 total for all public donations earmarked for this project at A&M. To make a tax deductible donation to A&M in support of this research, click on the “Donate to A&M” link above.
PLEASE NOTE: As of June 7, 2017 we are no longer shipping pre-assembled kits. However, the A&M study continues. You can still follow the instructions to create your own tick drag and send the results in to A&M.